MULL-lab will be meeting this Tuesday, March 14th at 3:00 pm. Meetings take place in Rm. 002 of the McGill Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join in person.
This week, Terrance will be presenting a talk entitled:’Non-verbal clauses in Kirundi: Focus and non-verbal predicates’. This talk was originally planned for last week but was re-scheduled due to conflict. The abstract is below.
One strategy for expressing focus in Kirundi is an A-bar fronting construction, obligatorily accompanied by a sentence-initial particle ni. In this presentation, I first establish the A-bar movement properties of these constructions and put forward data which shows that A-bar fronting has an interpretive effect, namely that of exhaustive identification of the fronted constituent. In the remainder of the talk, I propose an analysis wherein the particle which obligatorily accompanies this fronting, ni, is a Pred head. Support for this analysis comes from its additional distribution in contexts of non-verbal predication with no additional (verbal) functional material. In other words, I propose that the matrix clause of Kirundi clefts is syntactically highly reduced. The upshot of this is a more fine-grained view of what clefts (as well as non-cleft focus constructions) can look like: clefts with syntactically verbal copulas are symmetric in that there are two full clauses; clefts with syntactically non-verbal copulas like Kirundi are asymmetric in that the matrix predicate is syntactically deficient.
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